Recent studies have shown that gadolinium, a contrast agent used during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), can have serious side effects, some of which are fatal. The FDA has demanded that the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents place a black box warning on the labels.
Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
The most serious side effect of gadolinium exposure is Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis / Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSF/NFD). This disease affects connective tissues throughout the body. Patients who develop NSF/NSD following a gadolinium contrast agent injection experience a hardening of the skin, which can lead to joint immobility.
NSF/ NFD can also affect the thigh muscles, lower abdomen, diaphragm and lung vessels. Due to the hardening of the skin and the impact on the lungs and diaphragm, breathing could be restricted in certain patients, causing breathing difficulties and subsequently death. Currently, there are no known, effective treatments for NSF/NSD.
While NSF/NSD is the most serious side effects associated with gadolinium, there are other more common conditions associated with gadolinium exposure. These include:
- Impaired kidney function
- Irritation of blood vessels
- Facial swelling
- Skin conditions, including rashes, itching and hives
Gadolinium is an element that becomes magnetic when there is an external magnetic field present. Therefore, solutions of the gadolinium compound can be injected into the body to enhance images on a magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) machine. Contrast agents that contain gadolinium help to create a much clearer image of tissues or organs. As a result, medical professionals are able to identify abnormalities and make diagnoses.
The gadolinium compound that is used in MRI contrast agents has a low to moderate level of toxicity. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed a link between gadolinium and diseases such as Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF) and Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD) in patients with kidney problems. Because of this link and other reported side effects, gadolinium lawsuits are being filed throughout the country.
If you have been injured as a result of a gadolinium contrast agent, it is important to speak to an attorney to see if you are eligible to participate in a gadolinium lawsuit. Filing a gadolinium lawsuit can be a means to obtaining compensation for lost wages, as well as medical bill reimbursement. For a free gadolinium case evaluation, fill out the form on the right side of the page. A gadolinium attorney can work to ensure that your rights are protected and pursue the justice you deserve.